Networks must support a wide range of applications and services, as well as operate over many different types of cables and devices, which make up the physical infrastructure. The term network architecture, in this context, refers to the technologies that support the infrastructure and the programmed services and rules, or protocols, that move messages across the network.
As networks evolve, we are discovering that there are four basic characteristics that the underlying architectures need to address in order to meet user expectations:
- Fault Tolerance (Figure 1)
- Scalability (Figure 2)
- Quality of Service (QoS) (Figure 3)
- Security (Figure 4)